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The American Dream

            In 1852 when John Henry Newman wrote his essay, "The Idea of a University," he wanted to convey that a University's purpose was to be able to educate first-rate members of the social order. Newman's theory, although over a hundred years old, still applies to today's college students; many are seeking higher educations to not only lead to successful careers, but to also become an improved person in society.
             In a time when human endeavor was being redesigned, as industries, philosophies, and sciences were growing and affecting the world, Newman wrote an essay explaining the ideas and goals for seeking a liberal arts education. He states in his thesis that the function of such education, "is that of training good members of society" (Newman, 1852).
             Now two questions come to mind about the definition of, "training," which Newman proposed. Is it preparation for someone to obtain a lucrative profession? On the other hand, is it guidance for someone to develop into an impacting member in the social community? Newman suggests both. He writes, "It is the education which gives a man a clear conscious view of his own opinions and judgments, a truth in developing them, and an eloquence in expressing them, and a force in urge them. It teaches him to see things as they are, to go right to the point, to disentangle a skein of though, to detect what is sophistical, and to discard what is irrelevant. It prepares him to fill any post with credit, and to master any subject with facility." (Newman, 1852). Thus defining a student who has received his degree and is ready to enter a professional field of work, as not only being prepared to perform the work, but also to carry it out at a higher level than expectations were set to. He is a man well, "trained," to overcome any job related obstacles he may encounter.

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